You made your resolution to get in shape, you have even found an exercise program that you like, but where exactly do you start? One of the first things that you should do is to find out what your current fitness level is. This is important, because you want to make sure that you increase at a healthy rate to prevent injury. There are several ways to test your fitness level.
Upper Body Strength
A great way to test upper body strength is by using the push-up. Men should use the traditional military style push-up, while women can use the bent-knee position. To perform the test, do as many push-ups as you can, and count them as you are going. The average number of push-ups is listed below:
Age 20-29: 17-33Age 20-29: 35-44
Age 30-39: 12-24Age 30-39: 24-34
Age 40-49: 8-19Age 40-49: 20-29
Age 50-59: 6-14Age 50-59: 15-24
Age 60+: 3-4 Age 60+: 10-19
A great way to test your aerobic fitness level is the 12 minute test. To perform this test, warm up properly then cover as much distance as you can in 12 minutes. You may walk, run, or jog. When your 12 minutes are up, record your distance. Below are the average results for the number of miles covered:
Age 20-29: 1.33Age 20-29: 1.54
Age 30-39: 1.27Age 30-39: 1.49
Age 40-49: 1.21Age 40-49: 1.42
Age 50-59: 1.13Age 50-59: 1.33
Age 60+: 1.07Age 60+: 1.24
There are several other tests to check your fitness level, some of which can be performed by a trainer or physician. If your numbers are below the averages above, set your goal to the average and work towards that. When you have reached that goal, move to a higher one. Goal setting is so important when making that decision to get into shape, you do not want to make unrealistic goals, but you also want to make sure that the goals you are setting are will challenge you. Once you achieve the goal that you set, you feel incredible. Then comes the choice to set another goal or try to maintain the current level of fitness that you just achieved. Another way to help you determine your fitness goals is to find out what your body fat percentage is. You can do this a couple ways, you can go to the gym or a physician and get your body fat measured by a personal trainer or a doctor, or you can buy a body fat measure with a fat measurement guide. Body Fat measurers are simple to use and pretty accurate, and you can check your progress anytime you want. Seeing progress is so important, because it helps to motivate you to conquer your goals. Another reason why body fat measurers are great is because not everyone is trying to lose weight. If you are trying to pack on more muscle, you might not see a difference on a scale, in fact you might actually gain weight, but having a body fat monitor will you help you see that you are decreasing your body fat.